Haritha Sabhas will be held across the State on Children’s Day on November 14 to give students an opportunity to suggest innovative ideas for strengthening local-level waste management systems.
The Haritha Sabhas, which will step up student participation in the ‘Waste-free new Kerala’ campaign, will be organised by civic authorities to help local bodies identify flaws, if any, in the second and most critical phase of the sustainable waste management movement running till January 30 next year.
While the General Education department has issued guidelines to schools under it, the Local Self-Government department recently came out with detailed guidelines to civic bodies on conducting the Children’s Haritha Sabhas in a coordinated manner. Students can critically analyse waste management facilities and make suggestions for their improvement, says the circular containing the guidelines.
Students can take stock of waste-management facilities in their educational institutions. They will also be guided in reviewing such systems in their locality and encouraged to make suggestions to the local bodies for improved services.
Student representatives of all educational institutions will participate in the exercise, irrespective of the syllabus followed by the institution or whether they are government, aided or private. Each Haritha Sabha will have a maximum of 200 students.
Minister for Local Self-Government M.B. Rajesh said the Haritha Sabha meets would ensure greater participation of students in the State’s waste-management campaign. “Our people need to improve their approach towards public cleanliness. Scientific disposal of waste requires updated awareness in society, for which children’s role is integral. Educational institutions must function as models for this transformation in attitude and habits.”
At each Haritha Sabha, the local body will submit a report on the details of the waste-management systems and allied services in the locality. The children can raise questions, to which the local bodies have to respond.
The children’s Haritha Sabhas are being held as part of the government’s three-phase Waste-free new Kerala campaign launched on March 15. The campaign is aimed at turning each local body into clean, green, and healthy, making them garbage-free by March 2024.
Besides building a reliable and sustainable waste management infrastructure covering all local bodies, the second phase of the campaign will see the completion of a few remaining targets from the previous phase.